A Day in the Life: Diligence & Extracurriculars
I'm so pleased to welcome back Selina to the blog today with an updated Day in the Life post. Dad is now working from home full time at their house, and they have ramped up extracurriculars! Maybe this window into their daily routines will inspire you to figure out what will work best in your family!
Another school year (2021/2022) has started and ended for our young family. Before I get into the various ways we educate and lead our children, let us all have a good laugh at my younger self when one of our kids was struggling and we needed to address their needs.
What we didn’t realize was that one of the kids had some vitamin deficiencies and needed support. Once we got that part of our lives addressed, our days went smoother. My husband now works from home full-time. He left his job of 15 years for a start-up in our local area. He no longer commutes 2+ hours a day. He is with us for breakfast and lunch most days and is available to help with math and reading lessons. What a gift his presence has been in our daily routine.The kids no longer have to get up at 6:30 am like they did last year to spend quality time with him. I wake up at 6:30 am, 3 days a week to go to a gym to work out. They all rise around 7:30 am and have a leisure breakfast with my husband. He still leads our morning time routine like he did last year, using lesson plans I wrote in advance.
My oldest child (Rebecca, 11) started with Homeschool Connections for subject content for the first time. I gave her a spreadsheet of the weeks and an ideal end date to finish her coursework. She scheduled the time to watch the lectures and complete the assignments. She has really good executive functioning skills so this was a very simple process for both of us. I did sign up for grading services for two courses (American history and Latin) which worked out great. We did a weekly check-in on Friday afternoons to review her coursework with the solution manuals for each subject. It was wonderful to watch her form opinions on the books she was reading and the areas she was studying. Our first year in middle school together was a fantastic year of growth and helped us discern a path forward for the next two years of her education.
My younger two children still need me on a daily basis in various ways. My middle child, Lucia (age 9), moved on to 3rd grade this past school year. We chose various materials from CHC and Mater Amabilis. She read and completed some materials (math, handwriting, reading comprehension) independently after breakfast, but we still covered subjects (spelling, science, catechism, geography) together once I was finished coaching her brother through his reading lessons.
My youngest child, Augustine (age 7), moved on to 1st grade this fall. Once morning time was finished, he would move to handwriting lessons that included drawing lessons (Draw Write Now). He needed encouragement for math lessons, which was happily given by either myself or one of the family members. We had a great year learning how to read and comprehend materials together. He made some fantastic strides in reading that led him to being promoted to the junior floor at our TKD school. In order to be on that team, you need to be a proficient reader to comprehend the curriculum.
When morning lessons are done we all gather for lunch around 12:30. My kids sometimes prepare a simple lunch, or on the days we have TKD, I make lunch to feel more like a dinner so they have a substantial amount of food before an afternoon full of hard training. We still listened to a chapter of history during the lunch hour and took time to discuss the events during our meal. After lunch we still have quiet time. My kids have new hobbies and interests that they choose to use this time to engage in. My daughters are working hard to finish their black belt requirements and use this time to practice and train their bodies. Sometimes my husband joins in and helps them memorize their weapon drills and traditional forms.
We gather in the afternoons (around 3:30pm) for a new tradition that we call “Snacks and Saints”. I have planned out the saint's feast days for the year in my calendar with all the books and passages we have on that saint. We sometimes listen to a podcast or watch a video on Formed. This has been a fun way for us to live out the liturgical year and find some heroes for my oldest while she discerns her patron saint for her Confirmation in the future. Sometimes the snack correlates to the feast day, most times they don’t. We just wanted our kids to find heroes for their faith life to help guide them to Jesus on their journeys.
This past spring semester I started a hiking club for the local homeschoolers in our area. We would meet up on Wednesday mornings and hike through our local creeks and rivers. It created some great learning experiences for our children and they formed solid friendships with other Catholic homeschooling families. I am so excited for us to continue with this club this coming school year.
We signed up our younger two children for an enrichment program at our local family center. They participated in outdoor science and nature journaling classes one morning a week for 10 weeks. It was an incredible experience for my younger two. They made friends and learned how to participate in community programs with multiple ages. We signed up all the kids for those classes this upcoming school year and added in an archery class. I am so excited for them to enjoy some new adventures.
All of our children still train at a local TKD school two evenings a week and on Saturday mornings. My oldest will be testing for her 2nd degree black belt this November. My middle child and my husband will also be testing for their 1st degree black belts in November. It is a huge time commitment for our family, but they honestly enjoy the training and dedication it takes to move on within the program.
I hope our family’s routine and schedule can give you an idea of what it is like to homeschool and enjoy extracurricular activities. As I write this, we are about to start our 8th year of homeschooling. I am so thankful for this journey and excited about the activities and enrichment days we have planned. I hope you can look forward to your upcoming school year with joy and wonder.
Did you enjoy that peek into Selina's day? Check out her previous Day in the Life post from the 2020-2021 school year here!
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